Salt is probably the most important seasoning in cooking. On its own, or when used to deliberately make something taste salty, salt’s flavor is quite distinct. But salt can also enhance the flavors of other ingredients without calling attention to itself. A light seasoning with salt can bring out flavor, smooth out bitterness, and make foods taste not salty, but more like themselves.

Salt also affects the way foods look and smell. Salt will help to preserve the green color in cooked vegetables when added to the cooking water. It has the same effect on cauliflower, keeping it from yellowing. Salt intensifies aromas, making them more apparent.

Pickling salt is used to enhance the flavor of pickles. It is simply table salt without the additives that can turn a pickling liquid cloudy. If you can’t find it, you can use table salt or sea salt, as long as it doesn’t have any additives.

Adding a pinch of salt to eggs is standard culinary practice, because the chemical reaction of salt with the fats and emulsifiers causes the egg to break down and smooth out quickly, making it more apt to combine with other ingredients.

Salt is an important ingredient in bread making. It adds taste, and inhibits yeast production, thus preserving the bread. It also contributes to the texture, having a toughening effect on gluten. However, salt, being a yeast inhibitor should never be added directly to the dissolved yeast.

Salt is an important ingredient in marinades. It draws the water out of the food being marinated, helping to concentrate the flavor of the food.